I have a presentation tomorrow! I need to pitch my ideas to investors! Need to present some report in office today. Have a business proposal meet....
Few excerpts from people for whom business presentation is a part and parcel of professional life. Once you think of business presentation, the first thing that comes to mind are the PPTs and the slides. Although a successful business presentation is not entirely dependent on PowerPoint presentations but something amiss in the PPTs can ruin the entire essence of a powerful business presentation. PPTs may not be the fad anymore but most persons' career has been determined by the creativity of their PPT designs. A well-rehearsed verbatim for the presentation, superb presenter’s skills can go wrong with the audience if coupled with bad visual experience. Honestly a best PowerPoint presentation often goes unnoticed. Because they blend beautifully to support the presenter’s message. But a bad one is always a distraction often questioning the credibility of the speaker. Cluttering texts, disjointed flow, poor design and photos, loud colours detract from the actual theme of the presentation. So, a well-designed PPT can deliver appropriately the message to the audience.
Presenting below few tips to steer your business presentation in the right direction by using PowerPoint properly.
- Make it simple and short - In any presentation be it business or other, the use of PowerPoint slides is to only support and complement the speaker. PowerPoint is designed to add in a visual element in the presentation. Its main aim is to make it easy and interesting for both presenter and audience to understand the said theme properly. That doesn't mean that you will cram the entire show with too many slides. Remember in a presentation people come to hear the presenter, his or her message. Be cautious to not let your message get derailed by the train of unnecessary complicated and junk slides. The best policy is to keep the slides very simple short and precise. Do not compare yourself to fill in the white spaces with irrelevant clipart or allied things. The less clutter you have on the slide, the more visual impact it creates on audience.
- Use texts and bullet points carefully- In a presentation as a narrator you will always try to engross your audience with your message or storytelling. Avoid making your presentation totally dependent on slides; where you only stand and monotonously read aloud from them. Don't make your slides an outline of the presentation. The best PowerPoint slides must have minimum of texts to the extent that stand alone it will be rendered meaningless. Because the magic to liven up the slide depends on the narration of the speaker. Only the major bullet points must be specified that too if possible, try to substitute it with visual elements.
- Limit use of transitions, special effects and builds - These features initially may seem impressive that too for young audience but not for professional audience. Animations and sounds used in a limited way may add spark but too much of it can be distracting and negative. These features are more of gimmicks never enhance the credibility of the presentation. Rather these fade-outs, fade -ins, splits, wipes and other tech glitz slow down the computer projection.
- Use high resolution images or graphics - Put in extra effort to use the high-quality visuals to enhance impact. Don't simply stretch a small low-resolution photo to fit your layout. It totally degrades the quality of your slide. Another common thing often noticed is people tend to use initial pictures of Google. This looks quite amateurish. Avoid using PowerPoint clipart or other cartoons. It has become very cliched these days and undermines the professionalism of the presenter.
- Create your own templates- PowerPoint offers a lot of in -built templates. But using them seems that you are jamming your original ideas into a pre-packaged mould. It is always better to custom create your background giving a distinct and unique look. Try to add a consistent visual theme throughout your presentation tailoring your own background templates.
- Using the right colours - Less is always better...This must be the policy that should be kept in mind when blending colours in your slides. Limit the number of colour usage in a single slide. Choosing the right combination of colours is very important. It depends on the theme of your presentation and the light setting where you will project them. Colour has an emotional appeal. The colour of the content has the power to evoke right feelings when used suitably. Generally soft colours are used in the background and warm colours to objectify thing in the foreground. For professional purposes, use contrasting colours and keep it simple like black and sky blue. Avoid using vibrant colours like red and yellow combination.
- Choose the right font- Proper choice of fonts and its size matters a lot. Sans Sheriff fonts like Arial are best suited for PowerPoint presentations. Keep the font size between 20 to 24 so that it can be read from the back of the room. Try to use same fonts in all the slides. Use bold and varying sizes for headlines subheadings and captions. Avoid using italics.
- Presenting the data in right way- Cramming too much of data in complicated tables or charts is of no use than boring the audience. Using graphic format to represent data is a better option. Even if you need to use tables, keep it simple and to the minimum as much as possible.
- Properly align your slides- Make sure to properly align all your objects on slides. It gives a finer and more professional look to the slides.
- View the presentation in slide sorter - Viewing the presentation in slide sorter helps you to judge whether the slides are progressing in a logical format. Accordingly, you can add more refinements in the presentation to enhance clarity.
Also read 80+ powerpoint shortcut keys that may be handy while creating a presentation
Designing a good presentation and delivering it with poise is what marks your excellence as a creative expert. Next time you have a presentation… put in your efforts to make it well researched, planned and visually appealing yet free from cheesy clipart, nonessential jazziness and other miscues. Present it with inner calm, confidence and energy. ALL THE BEST…